Australia warns of concerns about China promoting an arms race

Australia’s deputy prime minister said China was causing concern when it developed military capabilities on the largest scale since World War II.

“Large-scale military investment must be transparent and accompanied by state action to ensure peace of mind,” Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles said today at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 in Singapore. China’s military development speed and scale in recent years.

He said Australia still values ​​its relationship with China, especially on trade. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s administration also respects every country’s right to modernize its military in accordance with its resources and interests.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles speaks on June 11 at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 in Singapore.  Photo: AFP.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles speaks on June 11 at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 in Singapore. Image: AFP.

However, Marles said that China’s military development is happening with the largest scale and highest level of ambition since World War II. China’s neighbors need to be convinced that the process is not a threat.

“Without reassurance, countries respond by upgrading their own military capabilities is inevitable. Insecurity fuels an arms race. Reassurance action is a necessity,” he said.

Richard Marles also condemned China’s illegal militarization of features in the East Sea. He accused China of “intention to use force to prevent neighboring countries from claiming legitimate interests in important international waters”.

According to Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, China’s acceptance of transparency in military development will be one of the steps to effectively re-assure security. This direction has important implications for peace in the Taiwan Strait, as well as the possibility of improving China’s relations with Australia, South Korea and India.

“We want a peaceful, conflict-free region. Every country, big or small, can uphold its sovereignty. Relations between states must be governed by the rule of law, not power that lies with the rule of law. in the hands of the strong,” he said.

However, the speech and discussion of Mr. Richard Marles is still considered to be less confrontational with China than the position of the previous government. He still acknowledges that relations with China are obvious and that Canberra wants to build a productive relationship with Beijing.

“It is a reasonable expectation for China to grow stronger to have a heavier voice in regional and international affairs. However, the important point is that China’s use of power must display appropriate characteristics. compatible with common prosperity and security,” he said.

In addition, the Australian Deputy Prime Minister also reassured China and regional countries about the US – UK – Australia submarine cooperation treaty (AUKUS) formed at the end of last year. He stressed that this model is not “miniature NATO”, not for collective defense, but only for sharing and coordinating development of trilateral defense capabilities.

“This group is not an alliance and doesn’t have the organization that we usually describe NATO,” he said.

Name (Theo Sydney Morning Herald, SCMP)

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